Display settings control how maps are rendered in ArcGIS Pro and affect the quality and performance of drawing. To change the settings, click the Project tab, click Options, and click Display.
Antialiasing is a technique to make jagged edges look smooth. Changing the antialiasing option to a higher setting can result in more smoothing applied to 2D rendering, but may result in lower performance.
Text has special antialiasing properties where fonts can have capabilities to improve appearance at small sizes without making the font overly blurry—and parameters that specify at which sizes these rendering improvements take effect. The text antialiasing mode controls whether antialiasing is disabled (None), used as directed by the font file itself (Normal), or is on at all times (Forced). The default is Forced because the font's antialiasing instructions are meant for horizontal text only, whereas in a GIS application it is common to have rotated text.
DirectX and OpenGL are two different methods to drive your computer's graphics card from an application. ArcGIS Pro is capable of using several versions of DirectX and OpenGL. The default is DirectX, and in most cases, it is the optimal setting.
Regardless of which option you choose, ArcGIS Pro attempts to determine whether your graphics card supports the required capabilities for any version of the DirectX or OpenGL rendering engine. It will automatically choose the appropriate version of DirectX or OpenGL for your graphics card, or fall back to the slowest option (software rendering) if no graphics card is available to support the requested functionality.
In rare cases, a particular model or driver of a graphics card may perform better on OpenGL rendering rather than DirectX. This option is provided as a means to evaluate whether OpenGL works better for your particular graphics hardware or for troubleshooting purposes.
Rendering quality allows you to optimize 3D rendering for speed or quality. Depending on the capabilities of your computer and graphics card as well as the number and resolution of elevation sources and layer properties, higher details may result in lower performance due to the volume of content being displayed. If you experience problems with performance, lowering this setting will reduce the amount of data being displayed without having to modify the map and layer properties. This is useful when a high-quality 3D scene is displayed on a computer with suboptimal specifications or when you are running a resource-constrained virtual machine instance.
This option enables or disables stereoscopic rendering, which provides the illusion of depth from your flat monitor by creating two separate images, one for each eye. ArcGIS Pro supports two types of stereoscopic rendering:
- 3D Shutter Glasses mode requires a special high-refresh-rate monitor and shutter glasses to produce the 3D effect. This mode provides much better fidelity for color and focus of 3D content, but each viewer must have a set of shutter glasses. You can check with your graphics card and monitor manufacturers to find out whether your hardware can support native 3D rendering with shutter glasses.
- 3D Cyan/Red Glasses mode works with any monitor and uses colored glasses to produce the 3D effect. ArcGIS Pro rendering for this mode uses red/cyan 3D glasses. This mode also has the advantage of working for any number of viewers, but it can create color-casting and focus issues due to its use of simple color shift to provide both channels of content simultaneously. Using higher-quality, diopter-corrected lens red/cyan 3D glasses rather than simple paper or plastic types can help mitigate focus issues.
Additional display options
- Vertical synchronization ties the output of the graphics engine to the vertical refresh rate of the monitor to prevent situations where a portion of the screen doesn't get updated at the same time as another portion of the screen. Enabling vertical synchronization makes sure the screen only updates from top to bottom, which avoids creating a torn-edge effect between two regions of the screen.
- Hardware antialiasing enables filtering directly on the graphics card hardware, rather than software-based filtering. Hardware antialiasing can greatly improve the rendering quality of 2D and 3D content, but this option is only supported in hardware on high-end graphics cards. Enabling hardware antialiasing provides higher-quality rendering but may lower performance.
- The visualization cache improves rendering performance. The cache is stored at [install drive]:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\ESRI\Local Caches by default, but you can specify a different local path or UNC path to store the cache. As you work, the cache can get quite large, so choose a path that is always accessible and can accommodate a large amount of data. If the location is invalid or inaccessible, no cache will be created, and draw performance will likely suffer. To troubleshoot rendering issues, or otherwise free up disk space, you can delete the entire cache by checking Clear cache. The cache will be deleted once you click OK to close the Options dialog box, and the project will close and reopen. You can remove the visualization cache for a specific layer using the layer's cache properties; the existing cache for other layers will not be removed.
- You can request a redraw of the view by pressing F5. This will draw from the cache and not invalidate it. You can also request a full refresh of the drawing cache (invalidating it rather than deleting it) by pressing CTRL + F5.
Performance tips for virtual environments
ArcGIS Pro can be run on virtualization environments such as VMware or Citrix. No changes to display options are immediately necessary, but you may choose to lower rendering detail and antialiasing settings to optimize your virtual machine instance's performance. ArcGIS Pro utilizes hardware acceleration if it is compatible and available on your virtualization platform. If hardware acceleration is not available, ArcGIS Pro falls back to software rendering—meaning it is using the CPU to simulate graphics card functions. In general, this will result in much lower performance than if hardware acceleration were available, especially in scenes.